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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Facebook testing TikTok-style short videos in India

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Facebook recently announced Instagram Reels as its TikTok competitor and is now also testing a similar feature in its main application. The company is testing short-form videos in the Facebook app in India. This move comes after the Indian government banned TikTok along with a slew of other Chinese applications in late June. Recently, Donald Trump issued a pair of executive orders banning any US transactions with the parent companies of TikTok and WeChat. Also Read – Reliance Jio might invest in TikTok, early discussions with ByteDance going on: Report

Since the TikTok ban in India, a host of companies have launched similar apps including Times Internet’s Gaana and MX Player. Facebook’s previous answer to the TikTok juggernaut was Lasso, a stand-alone short-form video application. Lasso was launched back in November 2018 and never really gained any traction. Also Read – OnePlus phones now preloaded with Facebook bloat that you cannot delete

Watch: Alternatives to banned Chinese apps like TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, CamScanner

Facebook Short Videos interface, features

Spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, the ‘Short Videos’ feature has a dedicated section within the news feed. The interface puts the video front and center, with a ‘Create’ button up top and engagement actions at the bottom. Additionally, the next video is revealed via swiping up, a gesture that will be very familiar to TikTok users. The feature also lets users add music to the recorded clip as well as pause and resume recordings. It is not known at the moment whether there is a time cap on videos. TikTok videos were restricted to 15 seconds. Also Read – Historic Antitrust hearing: Here’s what Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple CEOs said

The feature may not be available to all users in India as Facebook has not officially announced it yet. We were not able to see it on any of our Android devices for example. The social media giant told TechCrunch, “We’re always testing new creative tools so we can learn about how people want to express themselves. Short-form videos are extremely popular and we are looking at new ways to provide this experience for people to connect.”

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